Research shows that people who drink one more sugary beverages per day have about a 26% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who drink 1 sugary beverage a month or less. It’s also been shown that those who drank less sugary beverages tended to weigh less.
For people with diabetes, cutting down on sugary drinks can have a big impact on blood sugar management. For those without diabetes, cutting down can help prevent diabetes, avoid energy crashes, and maintain a healthy weight.
So, how can we create a sustainable new habit of drinking less sugar? Read below for 5 easy ways to cut back on sugary drinks:
Don’t go cold turkey
Shirking those sugary beverages all at once may sound like a good idea, but slowly cutting the amount down usually leads to more sustainable habits. Drink 3 cans of soda a day? For the next two weeks, try drinking 2 cans a day. Once you get used to that, switch to 1 can a day for another week or so, then 1 can every other day… you get the idea!
Go for some bubbly
Find an unsweetened bubbly water, sparkling water, or seltzer you like to drink. There are many brands of plain bubbly water out there, and brands like LaCroix and Hint have flavored sparkling waters that contain no sugar or artificial sweeteners. Pro-tip: these bubbly drinks are still acidic (just like their sugary counter-parts) so be sure to brush your teeth after drinking one!
Switch to green tea. While both green tea and most sodas contain caffeine, unlike sodas, green tea also contains something called theanine. This compound has a natural calming effect, resulting in an enhancement in mental alertness without the uncomfortable buzz that may be experienced after drinking soda or energy drinks.
Mix it up
If you’re having trouble cutting out the sugar entirely, try mixing a small amount of juice into seltzer water. This will still contain sugar, but far less than the amount found in sugar-sweetened beverages like soda. One of our favorites is Raspberry LaCroix mixed with a splash of 100% cranberry juice – very tart but also very refreshing!
Don’t ditch the H20
Create your own “infused” water! Add sliced lemons, oranges, cucumbers, mint leaves, strawberry chunks, or frozen berries to create new flavor combinations. You can make unsweetened ice tea the base, instead of water, if you want more flavor or caffeine.
Having trouble cutting back on sugary drinks, or have a question you’d like to ask a health and nutrition expert? Chatting with the Brook Experts is a simple way to help maintain health in between provider visits, and get answers and guidance when you need it most. To start chatting, open your Brook app and tap the chat icon on the top left.
Chat soon 💬
Reviewed by Emily Matson, MS, RDN
on February 18, 2020. Emily is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Brook Experts.